Lucas Volini, DMFT, LMFT

Vice President of Clinical Quality and Creative

Dr. Volini is all about optimizing systems, from the most basic unit of a relationship to organizational structures as large as the federal government. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a doctoral degree specializing in macrosystem assessment and change, he believes that the 21st century provides us with all the knowledge necessary to improve society’s individual and collective mental health—it’s just a matter of putting that knowledge to practice. For Dr. Volini, taking an opportunity to join the Senior Leadership Team within one of the nation’s fastest growing mental health companies was a no-brainer. He joined Ellie Knowing that the optimization of system’s demand disinhibited creativity and a collective passion for innovating new solutions to historic problems. Ellie’s unique organizational culture provided an environment where Dr. Volini felt he could fully actualize his mission to elevate mental health as a national priority while working in an energized, collaborative environment amongst colleagues that finally felt like home. With a drive for innovation, passion for creativity, dense appreciation of absurdity, and fierce intolerance of suboptimal systems of care, Dr. Volini integrates teachings across various science-driven and philosophy-based disciplines to ensure that Ellie’s clinical programs and growing library of wellness resources establish a new standard for 21st century behavioral healthcare.

Prior to joining Ellie’s Senior Leadership Team, Dr. Volini worked fulltime as a complex systems researcher and professor teaching undergraduate, masters, and doctoral-level courses in applying general systems theory/cybernetics to resolve real-world issues. As part of his role in higher education, Dr. Volini has independently authored multiple textbooks along with peer-reviewed publications in academic journals, and regularly presents both locally and nationally on all things systems/mental health.

Outside of his professional work, Dr. Volini can be found spending time with his two children, rigorously training for the Senior PGA Tour, harmlessly disregarding the imposition of arbitrary rules, pretending he’s a journalist, and on a limited basis for no particular reason, substitute teaching AP History / AP Government at the local high school.

Clinical Specialty Areas

·         Strengthening marriages and other forms of intimate relationship.

·         Addressing a perceived absence of meaning/purpose.

·         Struggles navigating the complexity of our politically charged social environment.

·         Addressing stresses often experienced by corporate executives, medical professionals, attorneys, and other rigorously demanding professions.

·         Struggles specific to men and masculinity, including fatherhood, marriage, and work/life balance.

·         Conflict between adult siblings and/or strains between adult siblings and their aging parents(s).

·         Parenting difficulties and the full spectrum of familial discord.

Professionally, Dr. Volini’s clinical practice is strengthened by ongoing engagement in various pursuits of scholarship. At the Institute, Dr. Volini advances his research on the development of Global Family Therapy (GFT)—a therapeutic method centered around the cultural worldviews of individuals within complex systems. GFT is grounded in the wisdom derived by various existential philosophers throughout the centuries and contemporary empiricism that demonstrates the extent to which our self-esteem is directly tied to our cultural worldview. Beyond the traditional therapeutic space, GFT’s framework mutually tends to the assessment and intervention of dysfunction observed across our larger social system. Such work includes Dr. Volini’s method for facilitating encounter groups between individuals with opposing political worldviews and developing curriculum to organize and bring clarity to the polarization felt nationwide. Recent developments extend this multisystemic framework to assess and consult with corporate systems. In Dr. Volini’s academic research and clinical practice, he maintains a sincere commitment to leveraging viewpoint diversity as a primary resource to address societal ailments.

Dr. Volini is the independent author of two textbooks in the discipline of marriage and family therapy, has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals and various professional periodicals, and regularly presents his research locally and nationally at professional conferences across disciplines. Currently, Dr. Volini is the President of the Minnesota Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.